Since Christmas we have been heavily assessed and evaluated by both the Local Authority and an Ofsted inspector. During these visits, staff have been scrutinized in detail to ensure that we are providing the best education possible for our pupils. Both have said that we are ‘taking effective action’ towards coming out of special measures, which is basically like saying “you have implemented the right things to improve and you are on the right path.”

I still think we are racing to the start line. Yes we have improved, but September 2019 is the start of real, sustained growth for me. This year has been about building the foundations based on trust, relationships, leadership and systems. I want these set up fully functioning and firing on all cylinders ready for September. I would like every member of staff to be absolutely clear on the expectations on them to take our school out of special measures and in to Good! The knock on effect of this is that the pupils will thrive and be rewarded for all the hard effort put in.

I have not been a dictatorial leader insisting that things are done a certain way but rather given staff opportunities to make their own mistakes and as a consequence learn and grow quicker. Leaders have taken ownership of specific curriculum areas and school priorities and this is why the latest HMI report said:

Leaders have resisted quick fixes. Instead, they are putting into place the essential steps to ensure long-term, sustainable improvement.

The leadership structure has developed considerably during the year and I see it as going from strength to strength next year. Inevitably, some new staff will start in September with a drive, enthusiasm and motivation to want to impress both parents and leadership. They will be joining a school that is an exciting place to be because we hit rock bottom last year and they have the chance to be part of a resurrection that will give them a great sense of achievement.

As for this summer, what a great term full of exciting events for pupils, staff and parents. A positive end to a year of growth and stability.

Chris Raymond